25iq

My views on the market, tech, and everything else

Investing and Business Lessons from Aileen Lee (Cowboy Ventures)

Aileen Lee is the founder of the seed-stage focused venture capital firm Cowboy Ventures. She was previously a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Lee was also the founding CEO of the digital media company RMG Networks. She is a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. “Venture investors are looking for large addressable markets. How big is the market? What is the problem that you’re trying to solve? […]

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Business Lessons from David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar and Food Television Personality)

Since I have already written blog posts about the “food television” personalities Anthony Bourdain and Alton Brown, I decided to write one about David Chang. If you don’t know who Chang is, Time magazine has an excellent written profile. A few sentences from that article provide a brief biography of his early career: “It may surprise you to learn that the Korean-American rebel chef David Chang, known for his delicious, […]

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Business Lessons from Mark Leonard (Constellation Software)

  Mark Leonard reminds me of Warren Buffett. Anyone who likes reading Berkshire shareholder letters will very likely enjoy Leonard’s shareholder letters and his answers on earnings call transcripts. The Globe and Mail describes part of what Leonard has accomplished at Constellation software: “With an initial $25-million investment from OMERS and his old associates at Ventures West Capital in 1995, Mark Leonard has built Constellation into a world-leading consolidator of […]

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Friar Tuck Financial Services: A Classic Unbundle/Re-bundle Strategy

Financial services businesses traditionally created a broad portfolio of financial services and then packaged them in a bundle for customers. Chris Dixon has previously explained the justification for bundling in a blog post so well that I will not repeat those points here. You can find a link to Dixon’s post in the end notes. Unfortunately, bundles can become so expensive or cumbersome to consume that “overshoot” can kick in. […]

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Lessons from Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners

Robert Smith is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Vista Equity Partners. A March 2018 Forbes profile described Vista’s performance: “Since the firm’s inception in 2000, Vista’s private equity funds have returned 22% net of fees annually to limited partners, according to PitchBook data. Annual realized returns, which reflect exits, stand at a staggering 31% net. His funds have already made distributions of $14 billion, including $4 billion in the last year alone. […]

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Business Lessons from Jack Ma- Alibaba and the 40 SaaS

  Jack Ma is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba. The Wall Street Journal describes Alibaba as: “a marketplace, a search engine and a bank, all in one.” Wikipedia’s description is longer:  “Alibaba is a Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology conglomerate founded in 1999 that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services.” As is customary on this blog, […]

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Peloton: The “SaaS Plus a Box” Business case

  “We’re a software company. The entire leadership team comes from consumer Internet… what differentiates us is the software, which includes the streaming and the gamification and the network. We’re also a media company on top of that, because we’re streaming 12 hours of live TV content each day and have another 4,000 classes on-demand.”  Peloton CEO John Foley Peloton sells stylish stationary bicycles and treadmills to customers: But despite […]

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Business Lessons from Jim Clark (Silicon Graphics, Netscape, etc.)

  Jim Clark is an entrepreneur and computer scientist. He founded several important businesses including the two named in the title and Healtheon (which eventually merged with WebMD). He is currently the founder of the building management systems provider CommandScape. Clark is a friend of my friend Craig McCaw and I have heard some colorful stories about him as a result. He is not boring. As an example of the […]

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What might the Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan health care joint venture actually do?

Why did Warren Buffett say the biggest issue facing American businesses as they compete abroad is the cost of healthcare?   Why did Charlie Munger recently say: “The current US health care system runs out of control on the cost side and leads to behavior that’s not just regrettable, but evil.” Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan (ABJ) recently announced that they are creating of “an independent company free from profit-making incentives and constraints…to […]

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Business Lessons from Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg was born and raised in Long Beach California. His famous nickname was created by his mother because she thought he looked like Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon strip. His music career started in 1990 when he recorded cassette tapes with his friend Warren G, who gave them to his brother Dr. Dre. After performing on parts of an album for Dre, Snoop recorded an album for Death Row […]

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